Building an iPod for 2022: Still useful!

I’ve been considering doing something more or less exactly like this - a high capacity iPod that can play music as a standalone device. The only thing that would be cooler is getting Bluetooth working with it… but I can probably go with wired speakers. I’m sure old 30 pin docks are a dime a dozen if they’ve not been long since trashed.

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This is interesting, I’m almost tempted to rebuild one, but 5.5g 80GB on ebay are going for $170+!! And that’s before the iFlash components, actual storage, etc. There’s an iFlash m.2 SATA (B or B+M) replacement, and apparently in 2242 (unless you wanted to make a taller physical case) they do actually have 2TB now KingSpec M.2 SATA 2TB SSD 2242 Internal Solid State Drive Hard Drive SATA 3 6Gb/s for Ultrabook Laptop Desktop - So you can go ultra large size, assuming the rest of the hardware supports it. Which I dunno if it does.

I actually almost want to take Rockbox (the replacement firmware) and seeing if I can compile it for other stuff, like maybe DIYing something into an old vintage radio housing to give it that look, but a good quality DAC and amp with screen interface on the back. And then of course also be able to control it via BT if I want.

Lot bigger project than even this, I think, though. We’ll see if I get around to it.

I still want to retrofit an 80s Boom Box with a little touch screen and music player, something Pi based or the like, a high quality DAC and high quality amp. Load it with enough lithium to last the day and have a nice standalone music solution.

I slapped a SSD adapter and a new battery into one I gave a friend a year ago.

I know for a while you could by iPod knock-offs off amazon only they had more modern hardware, bluetooth support, and were android based. I wonder if those types of things are still out there. A FLOSS based iPod or boombox sounds pretty awesome. Call me old-fashion but I prefer to buy DRM-free music from bandcamp over streaming from platforms like spotify. So very interested in projects like this.

Here’s a 60W/channel Hat, I use it and it’s quality, and includes a good DAC as part of it. Takes in flexible 12-18v and powers the Pi as well.

If you really want to go crazy, gives you 100W per channel, and up to 30V input.

An 80s boom box should be big enough to pack in a Pi with one of those, and then as much lithium as you probably could ask for, is my bet. Especially since you’ve got the cells and spot welder to make it whatever size you want.

As for software, here’s someone who did a Pi Zero into an iPod case, so some of that software might be usful. Looks like he also got Rockbox compiled/running on it too. Have to check with the Rockbox folks about touch capabilities, or you could just make touch ‘buttons’ to provide the inputs.

As I said above, I kinda want to do something similar for an old vintage radio. So if you do this, and get the Rockbox working, let me know!